Nnimmo Bassey on Niger Delta as Sacrifice Zone/88

  Veronique de Viguerie

Veronique de Viguerie

“We thought it was oil, but it was blood”

This week’s conversation is with Nnimmo Bassey, an inspirationally committed Nigerian activist, who is fighting the global petrol military complex to reveal the full ecological and human horrors of oil production.

Nnimmo Bassey is director of the ecological think-tank, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and member steering committee of Oilwatch International. He was chair of Friends of the Earth International and Executive Director of Nigeria’s Environmental Rights Action. He was a co-recipient of the 2010 Right Livelihood Award also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize.”

Our imaginary borders have tainted our relationship to fossil fuel complacence; global warming does not exist inside of borders, species extinction doesn’t follow state lines and blood is on all of our hands. As Nnimmo writes, “we thought it was oil, but it was blood.”

Oil production and plastic consumption are the siamese twins of our cannibalism. Plastic is the tangible and physical manifestation of our ceaseless relationship we have with fossil fuels and it is destructive beyond our imagination. We need to be confronting our addiction to plastic and fossil fuels both with legislation and in our individual daily lives. Not one or the other, but simultaneously.

The global complacency about the oil war in Niger Delta is the embodied intersection of global racism and ecological destruction as we continue to employ Africa as the resource colony and sacrifice zone of the world. He asks us to stand in solidarity together to break the shackles of these oppressive forces as the forces of climate chaos continue to erupt.

Music by Nneka.

Ayana YoungComment